Oregon WC Agency: Pets More Dangerous Than Sharks

29 Jul, 2019 Liz Carey


Salem, OR (WorkersCompensation.com) – Oregon’s non-profit workers’ compensation insurance company says pets are the cause of nearly 400 workers’ compensation claims per year.

Since, 2014, the State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) says it has received more than 1,400 workers’ compensation claims caused by dogs and cats. In a video, the organization warns that pets are more dangerous to workers than sharks.

“It’s easy to assume injuries from small animals only occur in the animal services industry,” Becky Griswold, senior safety management consultant at SAIF said, according to KTVZ. “But we’re seeing injuries across industries.”

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information or NCBI, animal care workers are exposed to a wide variety of hazards, much more than human healthcare workers. In a study of animal related injuries, the report found that 50-67 percent of licensed clinical veterinarians and 98 percent of veterinary technicians report an animal-related injury at some point in their careers.

The study said that an analyses of the American Veterinary Medical Association Professional Insurance and Liability Trust’s workers’ compensation data found that in 2007, the organization reported that nearly 70 percent of claims and $4.2 million of incurred losses involved contact with animals.

While those in veterinary services, pet care and universities had the highest rate of injury, other workers were affected too. Workers in the healthcare field — such as those in nursing homes, hospitals and residential care facilities — are at risk. Since 2014, there have been 30 cat-related injuries to healthcare workers and 94 dog-related injuries.

Others at risk include those in janitorial services, plumbing, and HVAC service. Restaurant workers also saw injuries due to pets. Service industry employees in these fields have reported 74 dog-related injuries.

SAIF posted links to several tips sheets to help workers stay safe in the face of pet danger at www.saif.com/animalsafety.


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    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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